A Backyard of One’s Own

Nervous pit bull

For 2 years we lived in a 2-bedroom apartment on the third floor of a Brooklyn walk-up. We did not have a backyard, like most people in Brooklyn. We shared the streets. We shared the parks.

For 2 years before Brooklyn, we lived in the Caribbean. Our studio apartment in Grenada afforded us many things: great neighbors, a view of the sea, 24-hour air conditioning. But it did not have a yard.

Now, we finally have our very own yard, complete with wooden privacy fence and lovely green grass. The neighbor’s mature trees hang well over the fence, giving us lots of shade and the hastily planted mishmash of shrubs and field flowers along the porch have been removed and replaced with more lovely green grass.

Except for the roses, of course, which attracted a little snake before blooming and attract bumble bees now that the flowers have opened.

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The yard is a project. It needs some work. That’s something we knew when we moved in. The biggest part of that project will come when we remove the deck and replace it with a patio. But, for now, we’re enjoying spending time outside with the dogs and taking advantage of everything our very own yard has to offer.

For example, it came in very handy when I wanted to snap some updated photos of Ivan and myself. That fence makes for a lovely backdrop!


And the dogs couldn’t be happier.

We recently removed a thick nest of lily bulbs that were planted next to the porch, as well as some insanely huge roots (maybe a tree once upon a time?).

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The dogs had a root- and bulb-chewing party for hours as we worked outside.

I can’t imagine they tasted good, especially with the faces the dogs made, but they kept right on chewing.

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All good things must come to an end and, in this case, they came to a messy end. As it turns out, lily bulbs are mildly toxic to dogs (uh oh!) and Banjo spent the next hour vomiting. Even Babe emptied the contents of her belly once before snoozing for the rest of the night.

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Never fear, though, both dogs overcame their upset stomachs and the remainder of the bulbs found their way to the garbage.

5 responses to “A Backyard of One’s Own”

  1. I had a feeling that would happen – dogs don’t have a lot of sense about what they eat. Now you have a garden you might have to keep an eye on that…

    • Yes, you’re right! I got complacent over the years. We had a house with a yard 5 years ago. It had a big old chestnut tree in it and the dogs (Babe and 2 others that we had at the time) always begged us to pull the chestnuts out of their spiny shells to eat. But they never ate anything else and always steered clear of the garden plants. I’ll have to watch Banjo closely, it seems!

  2. Time to visit the ASPCA list of toxic plants. 🙂 Glad it was not more serious…and so happy for their/your new home with room to roam and play!

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